It is not sufficient however just to provide books that children could read over the summer. According to James Kim, a professor of education at Harvard University:
"...In fact, in one study, when we gave books to kids but did nothing else, they did no better than the kids who did nothing over the summer. There was no difference...
...Our research indicates that it’s about more than access, especially with younger kids who are still learning to read. Reading is most effective when parents or family members can provide reading guidance and make sure that kids understand what they’re reading. Reading can be both a solitary activity and a social activity that fosters learning and recreation."At Mason Crest Elementary School in Virginia, there is a summer reading program. My children and I participated in one session and the results of Kim's research described above is seen in action in this library program.
Of course, there is access to books, in fact a lot of books. My son and daughter both spent quite some time scanning through books they could borrow from the library:
Both found books they wanted to read:
Indeed, supporting summer reading goes beyond providing books. During the session, a reading resource teacher, Jacquie Heller, was also there. She reminded the children of three important things by which one can get really immersed in reading:
|Expression, Connection, Visualize (making reading more effective)|
|Dragons Love Tacos|
Giving a book is a good start, but it should not end there. We still need a parent or teacher to guide.